Telluride Arts District is a destination for innovative arts.  Enclosed in a stunning box canyon high in the Rocky Mountains, the district is home to uninhibited theater, unforgettable festivals, inspired fine art, award winning culinary arts and world-class architecture.


 "As a community we should be duly proud of the work of all the individuals within the arts environment, for helping us receive this award, which puts Telluride not only in the spotlight, but places us in the leadership of this state, related to the creative arts."      

                                      Telluride Mayor Stu Fraser



The Telluride Arts District is both a geographic area and a leadership structure that elevates the arts within the boundaries of the Town of Telluride. The district is a public/private partnership, funded by the Town of Telluride and other private and public sources, tasked with providing strategic leadership to coalesce and promote the breadth and depth of local artists and activities; amplifying their collective impact, and strengthening communication within the local arts sector.

The Telluride Arts District was selected as one of seven Certified Creative Districts in the state of Colorado in 2013. The award brings both recognition and resources to implement programs that strengthen the arts locally and elevate the profile of Telluride as an arts destination.  The certification status will be renewed every five years based on the success of the District to reach goals set in the Telluride Cultural Master Plan and by Colorado Creative Industries.

The Legislation

In 2011, the Colorado legislature passed HB11-1031. In brief, it encourages the formation of Creative Districts in communities, neighborhoods, or contiguous geographic areas, for the purposes of:

  • Attracting creative entrepreneurs and artists to a community, infusing new energy and innovation which in turn will enhance the economic and civic capital of the community
  •  Creating hubs of economic activity, thereby enhancing the area as an appealing place to live, visit and conduct business, as well as create new economic activity 
  • Attracting visitors
  • Revitalizing and beautifying communities
  • Providing a focal point for celebrating and strengthening a community’s unique identity
  • Showcasing cultural and artistic organizations, events, and amenities


The Telluride Cultural Master Plan

Over the course of 2012, seventy people contributed over 300 hours of focused meeting time to develop the strategies identified in the Telluride Cultural Master Plan Update that was adopted on October 20, 2012.

The consensus that was seen throughout the planning process was significant, and was reaffirmed in one-on-one interviews with all non-profit arts directors, their staff and over 30 artists in the fall of 2013. These interviews were followed by facilitated meetings, in October 2013, with representatives from the tourism, arts, business and government sectors to set goals in each of the priority areas. These goals have informed a series of white papers about specific objectives, and a 2014-2016 work plan for the Arts District.


For more information please find us 970.728.3930, Telluride, or on Facebook, Twitter or at the Stronghouse Studios 283 South Fir Street in Telluride.